Apple finally seems all set to make iPhones in India. According to Karnataka state officials, the Cupertino, California based tech giant will begin assembling devices at its Bengaluru facility next month. According to the Economic Times, while Apple awaits the central government's decision on tax concessions it will start trial production.
Apple has roped in the Taiwanese company Wistron to assemble the devices at a facility located in the outskirts of Bengaluru. According to earlier reports, Apple is likely to commence its manufacturing operations in India with the iPhone SE.
"We are working to see that [Apple] brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here. We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway," a state government official told ET.
Apple has asked the central government for tax discounts on component import and labelling, along with GST waiver for a certain period. Until now, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has not given any indication that the verdict is going to be in Apple's favour.
A Karnataka government official told ET that Apple's application hasn't made much progress in any of the concerned government departments. "The Centre must first let Apple and other global technology companies start somewhere," Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge told ET.
The government meanwhile is keen to expand the local component base for manufacturing and assembling phones. According to a report by Counterpoint research, only 6 percent of the components used to make mobile phones in India are sourced locally.